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The Three A’s – Awareness, Attention, and Appreciation

January 18th, 2012

As you settle in to January, it’s time to evaluate your marketing strategy, even as new campaigns are being queued up or likely kicked off.  While we all covet awareness, it is equally important to emphasize the need for marketing programs to earn attention and appreciation.  I refer to these as the Three A’s – awareness, attention and appreciation.

Awareness can help you cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd.  Attention is achieved when your intended audience receives and understands your message.  As people become receptive to your message, they begin to trust you.   Once you earn their trust, they will likely become loyal customers and appreciate your products and services.

Does awareness equal attention and, more importantly, appreciation?  Not necessarily.  Take next month’s Super Bowl as an example.  A 30-second television commercial slot during the big game will fetch a minimum of $3 million, and that does not include the cost for creative and production.

One could argue that running a Super Bowl ad generates market awareness as well as a ton of buzz.  No doubt.  However, unless people take notice and actually pay attention, the branding opportunity can be lost.

Aside from last year’s “The Force” commercial for the Volkswagen Passat (which by the way topped AdWeek’s “The 20 Most-Shared Super Bowl Spots of All Time” list), how many ads can you recall?

Clearly Volkswagen nailed the Three A’s.  Their Super Bowl ad not only generated mainstream awareness, but garnered the attention and appreciation of the media and millions of potential Passat buyers.   To date, the commercial has generated more than 49 million views on YouTube, making it the the Web site’s most-viewed ad of 2011.

As you start to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, be sure to consider the Three A’s.  People not only need to be exposed to your message but must pay attention, and more importantly appreciate it in such a way that they are compelled to share it with others.

Domenick Cilea

Domenick founded Springboard in 1995. When he is not working on marketing, PR, branding or content strategy, Domenick can be found in a gym, on the road or pool training to survive his next triathlon.

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